I want to add duckboard to the list of values for the wikipage http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:surface. Is there some kind of voting process, or can I just add it too the list?

On the same note, I understand them (boardwalk and duckboard) to be the same thing, but would boardwalk be better?

asked 14 Sep '10, 06:12

aharvey's gravatar image

aharvey
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edited 12 Oct '10, 15:57

TomH's gravatar image

TomH ♦♦
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Let me first put the role of the wiki in perspective. Anyone is allowed to use any tag (and tag value) they see fit in OpenStreetMap, whether these are documented on the wiki or not. Software that uses OSM data - such as the renderers that make our maps - are free to evaluate or ignore any tags (and tag values), whether these are documented on the wiki or not. The wiki is a good platform for documenting things but it is in no way mandatory.

The wiki is widely seen as documenting keys that are in (relatively widespread) use, rather than tags that someone thought might come in handy some time. So if "duckboard" is commonly used then feel free to add it, and perhaps put your reasoning in the change comment.

If, on the other hand, it is only you and two others from the mailing list who think that this tag might be nice, then don't add it right away. Instead, use it (and convince others to use it) until it becomes common, and then add it.

You may create a proposal (see the Wiki) to discuss your ideas, or you may post on the tagging mailing list to do the same. Such a discussion is the right way to find the answer to questions like "would boardwalk be better than duckboard?". If you want, you can hold a vote after your proposal has matured. If your proposal is accepted then it is a little bit more likely for others to use your new tag value; however, an accepted proposal does not automatically mean the tag will be used (or even supported by renderers and editors), and a rejected proposal does not mean the tag may not be used. Under no circumstances should voting results be used as a justification for any kind of large-scale edit of the database (as in "the voters have rejected surface=boardwalk so I will remove it from all objects").

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answered 14 Sep '10, 07:55

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Frederik Ramm ♦
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Thanks. That makes a few things clearer. After I did some more diging into the propsals I say that my example has already been proposed http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/duckboards

(14 Sep '10, 10:36) aharvey

The first step is to search the wiki thoroughly for existing tags that describes the same concept.

The second step is to search for undocumented tags that describe the same concept. It may not always be possible to deduce what those undocumented tags are being used for, especially if the none of the tagged objects are physically near you. So this step is really optional.

In this case the new tag seems to be a trivial extension of an existing scheme. But, if you are still unsure, you can ask your question on the tagging mailing list.

After that you can start a new page for your tag. Doing so will prevent many (semantic) problems like honomyns, tags based on words that are not specific enough and acronym namespace conflicts.

A wiki is a remarkably powerful tool for collaboration. If experienced OSM users see a problem with your tag (e.g. being a duplicate of an established tag), they can easily see how many times it has been used and take appropriate action. For example, they can add a message to your wiki page.

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answered 08 Oct '10, 18:57

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Nic Roets
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edited 08 Oct '10, 22:06

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question asked: 14 Sep '10, 06:12

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last updated: 12 Oct '10, 15:57

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